If Iwas arrested for disorderly conduct and possession of marijuana less then 1 oz , what should I do?

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If Iwas arrested for disorderly conduct and possession of marijuana less then 1 oz , what should I do?

The details of my arrest: I was inside a national retail chain and for some unknown reason thought it would be OKto masturbate in public. Apparently, unbeknownst to me, a lady and her 9-month old infant were close by and saw what I was doing and reported me. On my ticket it reads disorderly conduct with remarks stated what had happened. I need major help in what direction I should go. Do i need to speak with a criminal defense attorney? I’m in Polk County, TN.

Asked on September 1, 2010 under Criminal Law, Tennessee

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you should seek help from a criminal attorney as soon as you can.   Besides having to deal with the issue of the ticket directly - including the fine or whatever the judge orders - you should speak with him or her about participating in some programs that may help the court see that you understand the nature of your crimes and that you have taken steps to correct the behaviour as well as the underlying problems that may have caused the behaviour.  Programs such as drug treatment, etc.  You can say how sorry you are and that it will never happen again but showing the court that you have the ability to correct your mistakes without their ordering them corrected says a lot.  Good luck.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

DEFINITELY speak with a criminal defense attorney--right away. While disorderly conduct is itself a fairly minor infraction, and there are circumstances under which it might be best to simply pay your fine and move one (e.g. arrested for making noise outside your apartment building, when you'd had a bit too much to drink), very often, *any* offense that involves a sexual component, especially one where there's also a child (you say a 9-month-old was present) can result in being listed on a sex offender registry, which can have drastic consequences for employment, where you live, and other aspects of you life. That's not to say *would* happen here, but you don't want to take any necessary chances; retain an attorney to advise and defend you, to maximize the odds of not being so registered or listed.


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